The Impact of a Cash Transfer Program on Cognitive Achievement: The Bono De Desarrollo Humano of Ecuador

32 Pages Posted: 27 Aug 2008

See all articles by Juan Ponce

Juan Ponce

Facultad Latinoamericana de Ciencias Sociales (FLACSO) - Ecuador

Arjun S. Bedi

Erasmus University Rotterdam - International Institute of Social Studies; IZA Institute of Labor Economics

Abstract

Throughout Latin America, conditional cash transfer (CCT) programs play an important role in social policy. These programs aim to influence the accumulation of human capital, as well as reduce poverty. In terms of educational outcomes, a number of impact evaluation studies have shown that such programs have led to an increase in school enrollment, ensured regular school attendance and led to a reduction in child labor. Theoretically, such cash transfer programs may also be expected to exert a positive impact on students' test scores, but related empirical evidence is scarce. Accordingly, this paper evaluates the impact of a cash transfer program, the Bono de Desarrollo Humano of Ecuador, on students' cognitive achievements. The paper uses a regression discontinuity strategy to identify the impact of the program on second grade cognitive achievement. Regardless of the specification and the sample used, we find that there is no impact of the program on test scores, suggesting that attempts at building human capital, as measured by cognitive achievement, require additional and alternative interventions.

Keywords: cash transfers, test scores, regression discontinuity

JEL Classification: I38, I28

Suggested Citation

Ponce, Juan and Bedi, Arjun S., The Impact of a Cash Transfer Program on Cognitive Achievement: The Bono De Desarrollo Humano of Ecuador. IZA Discussion Paper No. 3658. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1251026 or http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.0042-7092.2007.00700.x

Juan Ponce (Contact Author)

Facultad Latinoamericana de Ciencias Sociales (FLACSO) - Ecuador ( email )

La Pradera 7-174 y Diego de Almagro
Quito, Pichincha 000
Ecuador

Arjun S. Bedi

Erasmus University Rotterdam - International Institute of Social Studies ( email )

PO Box 29776
2502 LT The Hague, 2518 AX
Netherlands
+31 70 426 0493 (Phone)
+31 70 426 0799 (Fax)

IZA Institute of Labor Economics

P.O. Box 7240
Bonn, D-53072
Germany

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